As the Apology Index takes form — and once I have a measurable number of readers, who may be moved to offer comments or suggestions — I will add a scale for rating apologies. It won’t be scientifically accurate and may be somewhat tongue-in-cheek … and will most certainly not employ the metric system. But that does raise the question of what makes for a good apology.
The Wikipedia article on Remorse offers some thoughts:
The consensus emerging from these and other studies is quite clear —
effective apologies that express remorse typically include the
following components: a detailed account of the offense; acknowledgment
of the hurt or damage done; acceptance of the responsibility for, and
ownership of, the mistake; an explanation that recognizes ones role; a
statement or expression of regret, humility or remorse; a request for
forgiveness; and an expression of a credible commitment to change or a
promise that it won’t happen again; and some form of restitution,
compensation or token gesture in line with the damage that you caused.